Arkansas organizations turn brainstorms into business
August means it's back-to-school time. Not just for kids, but for entrepreneurs looking to step up their game, too.
What's happening: Both Heartland Forward and Cureate are accepting applications for their fall cohorts of 10 entrepreneurs — or hopeful business builders — each.
Why it matters: Encouraging, mentoring and developing entrepreneurs are important steps to build a successful entrepreneurial network in Northwest Arkansas.
Details: This program is an idea accelerator, meaning you can, but don't have to, own a business. Anyone with a creative idea for solving a problem in NWA can apply (for instance, this guy who's converting standard bicycles to electric bikes).
- Builders + Backers, a venture capital and accelerator firm, runs the program with Heartland Forward.
- Participants receive a $5,000 "pebble" grant to use for experimentation.
- They learn how to put abstractions into action, test them and communicate their value. They're also connected to other participant "builders."
- The Walton Family Foundation supports this cohort.
Deadline: Applications are accepted through Aug. 15, and the program begins Sept. 22, running roughly 90 days.
Details: Business consulting company, Cureate, is largely focused on helping food and beverage entrepreneurs earn more money.
- Cohort participants can take Cureate Courses and get two business consultations.
- Applicants must be located in Arkansas or adjacent counties in Missouri or Oklahoma, but looking to serve the NWA market.
- At the end of the program, participants pitch their ideas for a chance to win $5,000.
- Forge, Inc. of Huntsville backs the cohort.
Deadline: Applications are accepted through Sept. 6. The program begins Sept. 27 and lasts 10 weeks.
Of note: CEO Kim Bryden relocated Cureate to NWA from Washington, D.C., as part of the Life Works Here program.
What's next: Cureate plans to host two more 10-person cohorts during the 2022-2023 school year.
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